Little Green Footballs

Monday, July 24, 2006

Lebanon: The Israeli Hiroshima?

Some food for thought from a sitting member of the Knesset here.

Any comparison between Olmert's and Nasrallah's political rhetoric must conclude that the latter is the more rational. His speeches are consistent with the facts and rely less than Olmert's on religious expressions and allusions. Nasrallah would never dare seal a parliamentary speech with a lengthy prayer, as Olmert did in his latest speech before the Knesset.

Israeli politicians have no cultural or moral edge over resistance leaders. The latter are far less attached to Iran than the former are to the US, and Hizbullah's constituency is less attached to Iran than the organized Jewish community abroad is to Israel.

The people who unleashed the brutal war against Lebanon are neither intelligent nor courageous. Quite the opposite; they are mediocrities, cowards and opportunists, but they happen to have military superiority. And they possess the keys to the machinery of a state, a real state, one that is secure in its identity, that has clear national security goals and channels of national mobilization, as opposed to a long deferred project for statehood and a state built on the fragmentation of national identity. On the other side is a resistance movement operating in the context of a denominationally organized society, a Lebanese government neutralized to everything but sectarianism, and an Arab order parts of which are rooting for Israel to do what it is incapable, or too embarrassed, to do itself, which is to deal with the resistance as a militia because it foregrounds their own lack of national and popular legitimacy.

Israel has nothing to show for ten days of barbaric vandalism and the deliberate targeting of civilians. It cannot claim a single military victory against the Lebanese resistance. It can, though, point proudly to whole residential quarters that have been reduced to rubble, to the burned out hulks and ruins of countless wharfs, factories, bridges, roads, tunnels, electricity generators and civil defense buildings. In terms of explosive and destructive power Israel has thrown an atom bomb on Lebanon, it is the Israeli Hiroshima.
Azmi Bishara. Arab member of the Israeli parliament.

Source: Lenin's Tomb

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